Jan. 28th, 2011

salienne: (Default)
So the GOP wants to be really really sure that federal taxpayer money doesn't go towards abortions women don't get abortions. They are so concerned about this, in fact, that they've decided to legislate "forcible rape" as the only "real" kind of rape, the only one worthy of an exception to the Hyde Amendment.

The text of the relevant part of the Bill:

The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion--

(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest;

To put this into perspective (source):

"This bill takes us back to a time when just saying 'no' wasn't enough to qualify as rape," says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women's Law Center. [...] the new bill's authors are "using language that's not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection." Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. "There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included," Levenson says.

As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.

The bill hasn't been carefully constructed, Levenson notes. The term "forcible rape" is not defined in the federal criminal code, and the bill's authors don't offer their own definition. In some states, there is no legal definition of "forcible rape," making it unclear whether any abortions would be covered by the rape exemption in those jurisdictions.

If you're in the US and are horrified by this as I am, I urge you to contact your Congressional representatives.

In case anyone is interested, the letter I wrote can be found behind the cut:

Dear Congressman )


salienne: (Default)

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